LPIA power loss causes major delays
ROYSTON JONES JR.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: May 10, 2013
Hundreds of passengers were delayed for hours at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) yesterday after a loss of power supply, according to airport officials.
In a statement, Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) said as part of its ongoing maintenance program, its contractor, General Electric (GE), serviced the airport’s electrical systems on Wednesday.
Ahead of the second service scheduled yesterday morning commercial power was disconnected, NAD said.
“All of the generators started and produced power, however the U.S. terminal electrical breaker serviced by General Electric yesterday experienced significant failure,” NAD said.
“As a result, the electrical supply including the lighting at the U.S. Departures terminal was disrupted shortly after 6 a.m.”
The power outage affected the airport’s Information Technology network, which prevented passengers from being electronically checked in.
The baggage handling systems were also offline.
According to NAD, commercial power was restored shortly before 8 a.m.
NAD said passengers, who were being checked in manually, were able to check in electronically at around 10:30 a.m.
“NAD regrets any inconvenience to the traveling public and our airline partners,” NAD said.
While the company said it is working with its contractor, GE, to determine what caused the failure, Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller insisted that NAD is “absolutely and totally” at fault.
“That was a planned outage by them,” Miller said, adding that the generators were supposed to kick in.
“BEC had to go back there this morning (Thursday) to reconnect, to give them energy. That is how they got on.”
He said BEC disconnected electricity on Wednesday at NAD’s request ahead of its planned system check, and dispelled speculation that the incident had anything to do with BEC.
Roscoe Perpall, president of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union, said while the power failure affected the airport, the radar nor the communication system experienced any problems.
“However, we were advised that due to the power failure and the generator not performing properly the terminal suffered some severe issues,” Perpall said.
He did not want to speculate who was at fault for the power supply interruption or malfunction.